Helping a Poinsettia to Bloom Again

I work at a long term care facility and I am helping one of our residents with a 1 year old Poinsettia that she received last winter. The plant appears healthy with new growth, in a pretty large pot, most of the bottom foliage is gone, lots of green with new green growth at the top. Kind of looks like a bush with “leggy” legs, if that makes sense. It does not get alot of natural light, fluorescent light mostly, her window faces north. I have fed it a light mixture of Miracle Grow one time. Seems to be a happy plant, just not blooming. Any insight would be appreciated……..Thank you!


I’m afraid it’s very difficult to get a poinsettia to turn red again even if you follow all of the rules on how to do it. Poinsettias are photoperiodic plants and start to develop flowers as nights become longer and days shorter. Starting October 1, Poinsettias need complete darkness for 14 continuous hours each night if you want them to bloom for Christmas. Any stray light at all, such as a tiny night-light or a streetlight, can delay or totally stop the blooming process. You may have to move your Poinsettia into a closet or even put a box over it to attain total darkness. During the day place your Poinsettia in very bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light.. The temperature at night is also crucial and should be between 60-70 degrees for the buds to properly set. This regime needs to last for 8-10 weeks if you want your Poinsettia to bloom at Christmas.

Sorry, but it’s not going to work for you this year.